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The History of the 1970s Pearl Swivel Ring

Following on from our Memento Mori: Poison Ring blog, which you can read here. It is often we come across some rare pieces of jewellery. Our next mysterious object arrived to us in a box from a vintage Blackpool jeweller.


This intricate ring hints that it has a lively party background from the 1970s as it can go from day to night, in a flash. It has a lovely basket type setting and incorporates two styles in one using a unique swivel mechanism. Picture a daytime stroll going for your afternoon cream tea along the Blackpool promenade, you wear this ring in its daytime setting with the side of lustrous pearls.


Pearls are a beautiful gemstone, which were first used by a Chinese historian in 2206 BCE. They have strong cultural associations with the moon because of their off white colour and their rounded shape. Pearls were historically associated Venus the goddess of love who came from the sea, just like the gemstones themself. Pearls were so popular within in Ancient Rome that Julius Caesar created a law in the 1st century that pearls were only to be worn by the ruling, higher classes.


Despite being a gemstone and the birthstone for June, pearls are not strictly speaking a stone. Since they are actually organic in nature, their rarity and great demand have resulted from this. Several kinds of freshwater and saltwater molluscs, including oysters, can produce pearls. The creation of a pearl around a single grain of sand or shell trapped inside the oyster is sufficient.

Our newly discovered Pearl cluster ring has a swivel mechanism which has its origins in Ancient Egypt. Swivel rings were made by the Egyptians in a variety of stones such as rock crystal, lapis lazuli, turquoise and amethyst. The stones were threaded onto wire so they could swivel around, and they frequently adopted the shape of scarab rings, which were worn as protection. In order to certify documents, the flat side of the scarab was employed as a signet. It was embellished with hieroglyphs that displayed protective symbols or titles.


Using the swivel mechanism on this stunning Pearl cluster it turns into a shimmering goldstone party ring, ready for a night under the disco ball at Blackpool Tower. Goldstone is an unusual element because it is made of glass rather than stone. The origins of Goldstone are a little hazy, but according to legend, it was discovered by an unknown religious order of Italian monks. Some stories have them accidentally spilling copper shavings into a vat of molten glass, while others claim they were attempting to make gold.


However, by the 17th century, a well-known Venetian family called Miotti, who were Venetian glassmakers, had discovered the secret recipe and began manufacturing exclusively until the 19th century. The formula which was a closely guarded secret was then sold on to allow the goldstone tradition to continue. Goldstone is said to hold properties such as a great energy booster to sharpen the mind, encourages healthy circulation and tissue regeneration. It also has additional healing properties due to the copper content. This makes it the ideal stone to accompany all-night partying while also providing some healing energy for the morning after.

This fantastic piece is still in wonderful condition. If only jewellery could talk, we are sure this ring would have a lot to say about its adventures along the Blackpool town.


This ring is now part of our private collection and is not available for sale.


If you are looking for a new piece, then you can shop our collections here or visit us in store at 4 and 41 Argyll Arcade. Our in-store advisors are experienced in helping you find the perfect piece that will suit you and your style. Please note that our online items only represent a small selection of our stock. Any enquiries please call us on 0141 221 0101.


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